28 Jun 2013

Mining company in Indonesia denies managers were stood down

5:01 am on 28 June 2013

The company running the world's biggest copper and gold mine in Indonesia's Papua province has denied it has stood down managers in relation to last month's deadly tunnel collapse.

On Wednesday a worker and union representative said he was happy the company caved in to union demands to suspend four senior staff, pending an inquiry into the disaster that killed 28 workers.

Alex Perrottet reports.

"Freeport McMoRan, which recommenced operations in its open-pit mine this week, has denied four managers have been stood down pending an inquiry into the tunnel collapse. Freeport's Communications Director, Daisy Primayanti, denies the managers were suspended but says they voluntarily stepped aside from their jobs to work with the office of the President Director on the investigation process. Darmawan Puteranto, a worker and union member, says that's not how workers see it. He says they were too afraid to return to work this week, until the union reassured them that the company's renewed commitment to safety was sincere. Management sent an internal memo this week telling workers to report any suspicious behaviour or disturbances to a security hotline. Ms Primayanti says the accident was unacceptable and the company will use the results of the report to make improvements and ensure the safety of workers."